Mike Raises Funds

Mike Raises Funds

I took this photo a few months ago at a release party for a new issue of Critical Moment, a local Detroit magazine written and run by Detroiters.

Upon arrival, I asked my dear friend Mike – pictured here selling beers to help raise funds for the entirely free publication – where all the women were.

It’s not that I do not like being at a party with lots of men, it’s just that the ratio of men to women was around 10 to 1. That did seem a little extreme, even for Detroit.

“Oh the women will get here,” Mike said confidently. “Just you wait. They’re still busy getting ready.”

I let the stereotypical comment slip. Mike is, after all, one of my most feminist male friends.

A few hours later, as women had gradually and steadily started flooding the room, I caught Mike’s eye. He knowingly nodded back. He had, of course, been quite right.

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Big Money Scott

Big Money Scott

My new friend Ben and I walked into 1515 on Broadway after having a delightful lunch in Greektown a few Fridays ago. After buying coffee, Ben and I were lucky enough to spend some time¬†with Scott and Scott’s marvelous yellow turtleneck.

Scott is temporarily based out of Corktown, although he will be flying back to LA soon. He is in the business of lending money to very wealthy people and helping them carry out large ventures.

“The big ham” is how he put it.

When he found out I was a reporter his face froze.

“You haven’t been recording me, have you?”

Clarissa and the Bike

Clarissa and the Bike

I walked into Shinola – a new luxury watch and bicycle store based out of Detroit – a few weeks ago as I was doing some background research for a story I am writing for British media.

The staff could not have been friendlier, but Clarissa, pictured here, may have been my favorite. She told me she moved to Detroit a couple of years ago after falling in love with the city over the course of a weekend visiting one of her great friends.

Later that night, as I had hung up my reporting shoes and put on my bright blue suede stilettos for a party at the Red Bull House of Art, beaming Clarissa tapped me on the shoulder.

“Tell me the truth,” she said. “Were you in the shop because you were curious, or were you on the job?”

We smiled. No fool Clarissa.

Al Guards the Packard Plant

Al Guards the Packard Plant

Al famously lives inside the Packard Plant, an abandoned automobile factory, which stretches across 40 acres on Detroit’s east side. He is its unofficial caretaker and drives around in a white minibus.

Al is full of stories.

“When I was young, kids used to come into the city, wreak havoc, and then get the hell out.”

“But now, with all the nonsense that is being published in the media, nobody’s coming anymore. The kids in the suburbs are too scared.”

Platinum JJ

Platinum JJ

“Hello Miss Rose,” I heard from across the street as I was rushing to a lunch date at the Russell Street Deli in Eastern Market.

JJ was in town from Austin, visiting his brother. Not for long though. By the time I write this, JJ will have arrived in Singapore to record an album.

Recording an album in Singapore sounded rather important, I told JJ. “Anything I might have heard of?”

“A few of the records I made with my partner MC Breed went platinum,” he said. “Heard of 2pac? We made a track with him in the early nineties. Gotta Get Mine.”

Tanisha and the Denim Shirt

Tanisha Redefines Thrifty

I was strolling up Cass Avenue today on my way to do some background reporting with my fellow British partner in crime Hannah, when a store front featuring gorgeous shoes displayed across old wooden chests caught our eye.

Tanisha (pictured here) and her husband just opened Thrift on the Avenue, which sells super cool second-hand women’s clothes at affordable prices.

“You don’t have to spend a lot to look good,” I heard one of our new friends declare as I tried a succession of dresses and skirts on.

Classy Tanisha didn’t need to say much to convince me.

Minutes later – and after a few warm goodbyes – I was leaving the store with a new bright purple dress and some “D” for Detroit earrings.

Many a long-term Detroit resident has told me that the Cass Corridor was a hotbed for crime up until just a few years ago. The area has since been rebranded a part of Midtown.